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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Six Chicago women arrrested at marriage protest

Six women were arrested Monday in an approximately five-hour long  demonstration at a Cook County marriage license office downtown after asking for a marriage license for two of them, then staging a protest at the office. 
About 10 a.m., the couple, Judy Heithmar and Danelle Wylder, with four supporters, approached the counter at the County Vital Records office in the basement of the Daley Center and asked for a marriage license, according to Andrea Crain, an organizer with the gay rights group Join the Impact Chicago, who was with five other supporters there at the time who did not get arrested. 
When they were denied the marriage license, Heithmar and Wylder, as well as the four others at the counter with them, began reading a list of 1,138 marriage rights at the federal level that are denied to same-sex couples. Heithmar and Wylder “are a real couple,” Crain said, who have been together for a year. 
The six protestors “blocked lines, blocked the counter, (and) chanted,” Crain said.
County security personnel “at first started out pretty accepting, but as the day wore on, they got fed up,” Crain said. Once two of the protestors went behind the counter, about 3:30 p.m., they were arrested, according to Crain.
The six women, all between 22 and 27 years old, "were asked to leave several times because they were disrupting the ability of the state workers to provide service to patrons,” police News Affairs Officer Daniel O’Brien said. “They refused to comply and were arrested.”
They were each charged with one count of misdemeanor criminal trespass to state-supported land, according to O'Brien.


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